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Did you know?

by Bozeman Broker Group

 

 

Did you know?
November 26, 2016 is Buy Local Day. Between now and Christmas, each day, we will highlight a different local shop, restaurant, or event. Be sure to check back in daily to see what your hometown has to offer.

...FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

by Bozeman Broker Group

Happy Veteran’s Day!
Thank you to all of our veterans !
And a special thanks to our very own,
Lieutenant Colonel Larry Wilcox, US Army, Retired
for your service!

...FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze
A young Marine saluted it, and then
He stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought, how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?

How many Pilots' planes shot down?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, Freedom is not free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
at the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, Freedom isn't free!!

Copyright 1981 by Kelly Strong


Amazing Repurpose Idea

by Bozeman Broker Group

America's First Shopping Mall is Now Stuffed With Micro Homes

Photograph by Ben Jacobsen. Courtesy Northeast Collaborative Architects

In 2008, Rhode Island's Providence Arcade was in trouble. Considered America's first indoor mall, the nearly 200-year-old downtown building closed after struggling to fill its cramped commercial spaces. The arcade needed an overhaul, but few viable options existed: when the possibility of a gut job arose, preservationists raised holy hell. In the end, the shopping center and its snug quarters proved just the right fit for a growing housing trend: micro apartments.

 

  

Photo courtesy of Rhode Island Collection

Known as Westminster Arcade when it opened in 1828, the building marked the debut of English indoor shopping concept in the United States. Designed by architects Russell Warren and James Bucklin, the Greek Revival stone structure more resembles a courthouse than a shopping mall, what with its stately Ionic columns and sunlight-filled atrium with its glass gable roof. Shoppers browsed three floors of shops—or at least that was the idea; they never seemed willing to trudge up the stairs to the second and third floors.

 

  

Photo by Ben Jacobsen via Northeast Collaborative Architects

The mall was nearly razed in 1944, but preservationists intervened, and it was spared. In 1976, the arcade was designated a National Historic Landmark, though businesses struggled. Even its 1980 renovation didn't help much, and it ultimately closed in 2008.

"It had become economically obsolete," said J. Michael Abbott, a principal at Northeast Collaborative Architects. "When it was a full shopping center of all three floors, it just wasn't working. Shops were opening and closing all the time."

 

  

Photo by Ben Jacobsen via Northeast Collaborative Architects

Oft smaller than a hotel room, micro apartments have grown in popularity in recent years as more people cram into urban areas and housing prices escalate. The concept first gained popularity in European and Asian cities before projects popped up in San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston during the Great Recession. And so, developer Evan Granoff, who bought the Westminster Arcade in 2005, sought to introduce shoebox living to Providence.

The construction practices of yore proved a challenge for the rehabilitation team, led by Northeast Collaborative Architects. "They just laid down some flat rocks and started building on top of those—that was the foundation," Abbott said. "The building has settled over time. We call that 'character.'" As a result, the walls had to be shored up, and custom doors and windows were created to fit the uneven contours. The well-worn wood floors and lacelike iron balustrades were left in place.

 

  

Photo by Ben Jacobsen via Northeast Collaborative Architects

Work on the $7M project wrapped in October 2013. Granoff retained the retail spaces on the ground floor and rented them to retail busineses. These commercial spaces are enclosed by bay windows so sound doesn't drift to the residences above. Inspired by ship construction, each of the 38 rental units—which measure from 225 to 300 square feet—includes a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and built-in storage. The homes on the second floor even have guest accommodations in the form of a twin Murphy bed. The Providence Arcade also contains eight larger apartments, a game room, storage spaces, and laundry machine.

 

 Photo by Ben Jacobsen via Northeast Collaborative Architects

Micro apartments are not for everyone—in fact, their clientele are "young kinds that just graduated." They "are at the bottom-end of the totem pole and don't have that dining room set that grandma gave them," Abbott said. "They travel really light. They might have a bike and two suitcases." The Providence Arcade's dwellings have also attracted keepers of the shops downstairs as well as second homeowners seeking a place to stay when they're in town. Rent starts at $550 a month, but future residents better get in line—there is already a waitlist.

50 Facts About Montana You Probably Didn’t Know

by Bozeman Broker Group

From dinosaurs to giant snowflakes, here are 50 facts about Montana that'll make you want to get to Big Sky Country ASAP

By: Amanda Orcutt

 

1. Fort Keogh holds the record for the largest snowflake ever observed, which was an astounding 15 inches in diameter.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Benimoto

2. In Fort Benton, a cowboy once insisted on riding his horse to his room in the Grand Union Hotel. The manager objected, so the two exchanged gunfire. The Horseman was killed and, later, fourteen .44 slugs were found in his body.

3. The Montana Yogo Sapphire is the only gem from North America that’s included in the Crown Jewels of England.

4. There are more cattle in Montana than there are people.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Theglobalpanorama

5. On Highway 59, south of Miles City, Harry Landers has topped almost 1 mile of his fence posts with over 300 boots.

6. Popular American daredevil Evel Knievel was from Montana.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Lisa Brewster

7. The O’Fallon Museum in Baker boasts the largest steer in world, Steer Montana. He grew to be nearly six feet tall and weighed 3,980 pounds.

8. In Montana, you can use the word “ditch” to order a drink. The phrase means “with water.” I.e. a “whiskey ditch” is a “whiskey and water.”

9. Successful animator and producer Brad Bird, who worked on well-known projects like “Rugrats,” “The Simpsons,” and Disney’s “The Incredibles” was born in Kalispell.

10. Montana was the site of the first placement of a Gideon bible in a hotel room.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Peter Gene

11. According to chlorofluorocarbon dating, the water at Giant Springs takes 26 years to travel underground before returning to the surface.

12. Montana is home to the largest migratory elk herd in the nation.

13. The first luge run in North America was built at Lolo Hot Springs in 1965.

14. Scot Schmidt, the first professional extreme skier, was born in Helena.

15. Travelers Rest in Lolo was a stopping point on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It’s the only site on the Lewis and Clark Trail that has physical proof of the explorers’ presence.

16. Montana holds the record for the most dramatic temperature change to occur over a 24-hour period. In 1972 in Loma, the temperature rose from -54˚F to 49˚F.

17. The Museum of the Rockies has one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils on Earth. It’s also home to 13 T-Rex specimens, more than anywhere else in the world.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Tim Evanson

18. Montana is the only state in the US with a triple divide, which allows water to flow into the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the Hudson Bay.

19. Although Montana is now home to over 8,000 moose, the animal was once thought to be extinct in the Rockies south of Canada.

20. Infamous sheriff and outlaw Henry Plummer constructed the first jail in Montana.

21. In 1888, more millionaires per capita were living in Helena than any other city in the world. Most made their fortunes off of gold.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Carsten Schertzer

22. Jordan is one of the most isolated county seats in the country. The town is 175 miles from the nearest airport, 85 miles from the nearest bus line and 115 miles from the nearest train.

23. A portion of Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the country, is in Montana. The park has 1000-3000 earthquakes each year and is home to one of the Earth’s few super volcanos.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user David Ooms

24. Montana is the 4th largest state in the US, by area. You can fit Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York within its borders and still have room for the District of Columbia.

25. Despite its large size, Montana is only the 44th most populated state in the nation.

26. Great Falls is the largest waterfall on the Missouri River.

27. Montana has the largest grizzly bear population of all the lower 48 states.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Sharon Mollerus

28. Not surprisingly, Montana has also named the grizzly bear their state animal.

29. The name of Montana’s largest state park, Makoshika, meant “bad earth” or “bad land” to Sioux Indians. But, despite its name, it’s a paradise for geologists. The park has over 11,000 acres of layered rock formations that include fossil remains of dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Capture the Uncapturable

30. Miles City is known as the Cow Capital of the West, where cowboy traditions live on through events like the annual Bucking Horse Sale.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Emil Kepko

31. At 12,807 feet, Granite Peak is the highest natural point in Montana.

32. Wild buffalo can still be viewed at the National Bison Range, just north of Missoula.

33. Glacier National Park has 250 lakes within its boundaries.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Loco Steve

34. Fort Peck Dam is the largest earth-filled dam in the world

35. The Rocky Mountain Front Eagle Migration Area is one of the best places to view golden eagles in the country. More golden eagles have been seen in a single day than anywhere else in the US.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr use USFWS Mountain-Prairie

36. Montana’s name comes from the Spanish word for “mountain”.

37. The first territorial capital of Montana, Bannack, is still preserved as a ghost town.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Skakerman

38. Out of the 56 counties in Montana, 46 are considered “frontier counties,” with average populations of 6 people or less per square mile.

39. Beaver Creek Park in Hill County is the largest county park in the US.

40. Famous western artist Charles M “Charlie” Russell called Montana home.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Smithsonian Institution

41. Montana’s state motto is “oro y plata” which means “gold and silver” in Spanish.

42. The Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park is considered one of most scenic drives in the country.

43. Due to its ample mining history, Butte is known as the “richest hill on earth”.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Woodleywonderworks

44. It’s possible to see up to about 1,700 nesting pelicans at the Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge.

45. The Battle of the Little Bighorn, often referred to as Custer’s Last Stand, took place near the Little Big Horn River in Montana Territory. It was the most prominent action of the Great Sioux War of 1876.

46. The Yellowstone River, the longest undammed river in the lower 48 states, runs through Montana.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Dave_mcmt

47. The town of Ekalaka was named after the daughter of famous Sioux chief, Sitting Bull.

48. There are eight different federally recognized Native American tribes living in Montana.


Montana Facts

Source: Flickr user Woody H1

49. Montana has not just one but two state gemstones: sapphire and agate.

50. At 585 feet high, the smokestack in Anaconda is one of the world’s tallest free-standing brick structures.

Housing in Bozeman

by Bozeman Broker Group

Rising land costs among factors driving the price of Bozeman-area housing

From the How Will We Grow? series

Editor’s Note

This is an installment in an ongoing Chronicle series looking to explore the issues facing the Gallatin Valley as we grapple with the opportunities and consequences of growth and the development it brings.

As always, we welcome feedback and suggestions from our readers. Managing Editor Nick Ehli can be reached at nehli@dailychronicle.com or 582-2647, and reporter Eric Dietrich at edietrich@dailychronicle.com or 582-2628.

Why, exactly, is it so darn hard to find an affordable home in Bozeman? There’s no single answer, certainly, but a key part of the puzzle is that the price of land is, well, too high.

As the area’s housing market has recovered from the Great Recession — pushing median home prices to record highs — the cost of infrastructure-equipped land suitable for building has risen accordingly, with a median lot going for $84,500 last year, according to numbers from the Gallatin Association of Realtors.

For builders aiming to hit the $192,000 housing price point the city considers affordable for buyers making $66,780 a year, an $84,000 lot means 43 percent of the target price is sunk into acreage. That puts a significant cramp on the remainder of the project budget, especially at a time when construction labor costs are also high.

While Bozeman-area land prices, unlike finished homes, still haven’t surpassed their housing bubble-era peak, they’ve risen substantially in recent years. According to GAR, the median price of lots in Gallatin County increased $35,486, or 72 percent between 2012 and 2015.

“We have more buyer demand than we can produce inventory.”
- Robyn Erlenbush, ERA Landmark Real Estate

What’s behind the rise? Much of it, real estate observers say, comes down to basic economics — even as the housing market has rebounded in force, the number of new lots being created in Bozeman-area subdivisions has stayed comparatively modest relative to the pre-recession boom.

While a whopping 1,730 lots received final plat approval from either Bozeman or Gallatin County back in 2006 — a number that dipped as low as 20 a year at the depth of the recession — annual production in 2015 was 690.

In comparison, the city issued 793 residential building permits and the county granted 432 land use permits last year.

“The inventory is looking really tight,” said Brian Popiel, chair of the Southwest Montana Building Industry Association. “There’s not much out there.”


Trends in building lot production and real estate price trends for the Bozeman area. Data from the Gallatin Association of Realtors and Bozeman and Gallatin County planning departments. Subdivision lot production numbers exclude Belgrade, where data wasn’t readily available.

Popiel said he estimates the city is currently adding only a quarter of a home lot per new resident, compared to half a lot in the 2000s and nearly a full lot per new arrival back in the ’90s.

According to Robyn Erlenbush with ERA Landmark Real Estate, the number of building lots on the market in Bozeman is down 25 percent over this time last year, with 92 currently available.

In comparison, she said, there are 309 building lots and acreages available in rural Bozeman outside city limits, with sales up 62 percent in the last year, and another 73 on the market in Belgrade.

For the time being, at least, Erlenbush said she thinks the primary bottleneck in the real estate industry is how fast Bozeman’s building industry, mostly composed of smaller builders, can bring houses to market.

“We have more buyer demand than we can produce inventory,” she said.

Looking further ahead, though, both Popiel and Erlenbush said it’s unclear that there are enough subdivisions in the development pipeline to supply the rapidly growing city with home sites proportionate with population growth in the coming years — a supply constraint that could push lot prices up even higher.

“Developers are still very, very cautious,” said city planning director Wendy Thomas, noting that developers — many burnt in the 2008 housing crash — are tending to plat subdivisions in smaller phases instead of charging ahead with larger developments.

“Developers aren’t extending themselves out there as far as they maybe were prior to the recession,” echoed Sean O’Callaghan, Gallatin County’s planning director. “I think there’s a different business model.”

Part of the issue, several planners and building professionals said, is that it’s often harder to secure financing for large development projects in the post-Great Recession world. The cost of infrastructure like streets, water supply and sewer service is also a constraint to some extent, they said.

Thomas, for example, noted the city is currently working on projects to expand sewer capacity to make more development possible south of the Montana State University campus and on the city’s western fringe.

“We have some pipes that are full, or close to full,” she said.

Additionally, Popiel pointed out, some well-financed Bozeman developers like Andy Holloran of HomeBase Montana, behind the 5 West mixed-use building rising on Mendenhall Street, seem to be focusing their time and money on redevelopment projects in downtown instead of more traditional subdivisions.

Thomas also said that single-family homes may not be the right housing option for many Bozeman residents, particularly given the youth and relative transience of the city’s population. Developers are creating a fair number of apartments and condos, she noted, saying she thinks the city is probably keeping up with demand on that front.

As for options available to consumers dead set on finding affordable land?

According to Erlenbush, there are still lots in Gallatin County available in the $30,000 range — out north of Three Forks past Wheat Montana, a third of the way to Helena.

“It’s a supply and demand situation,” she said.

How to Remodel the Laundry Room

by Bozeman Broker Group
 

Use this step-by-step guide to figure out what you want and how to make it happen.

By Mitchell Parker March 14, 2016

“What’s funny about laundry rooms is that we’re in them a lot, yet we approach these spaces as an afterthought,” designer AJ Margulis says.

It’s true. There’s no standard laundry room size, shape or layout. Often these utility spaces are created in awkward leftover areas after every other room in the home has been planned out. Or they’re banished to dark corners of basements and garages. And yet you’ve probably noticed you’re spending a lot of time in that confined area. Shouldn’t that space warrant extra attention?


This step-by-step workbook will help you think through your options and plan some ways to
make your laundry room function better and look nicer.

Step 5: Construction Documents, Estimates, Demo, Installation and More

At this stage, the process for remodeling or making over a laundry room is similar to any other renovation project. You’ll be perusing floor plans, elevations and other relevant drawings. You’ll iron out the finer details and get a grip on what permits need to be pulled.

If you’re working with a designer, he or she will probably help you interview contractors and get estimates on the cost of your project. Once you have that settled, you’ll begin preparing for installation by making sure you have all the materials on hand, as well as getting your space ready for demolition.

Make sure you save all receipts, construction documents, warranties and product information so you can properly maintain and care for your appliances and other features.

After your project is finished, walk through the space and make note of anything that’s cracked, chipped, broken or installed incorrectly. Get this list to the person who’s in charge of fixing these mistakes and include information about how and when the work should be completed.

Step 6: Decorate and Enjoy

Now that your space is complete, personalize it with rugs, hampers, soap holders, art and more. Just remember that detergents and bleach can wreak havoc on materials. “You don’t want anything too precious in there,” Margulis says.

Just like a car, your home needs regular tune-ups too

by Bozeman Broker Group

 

Essential Spring Cleaning Time

March 6, 2016 By Brendan

 

Spring is the perfect time to clear out winter’s clutter and start fresh. But while you’re organizing closets and planting flowers, don’t forget to perform basic home maintenance. Just like a car, your home needs regular tune-ups to keep it secure, comfortable and beautiful for years to come.

With the arrival of warm weather and sunshine, however, I know that the last thing you want to do is spend every weekend on spring cleaning projects! Fortunately, our handy checklist makes it easy to tackle the big projects step-by-step. Set aside a few hours each weekend to tune up a different part of your house, and in less than a month your home will be ready for summer!

Roof and Gutters Checklist

Did you know that the majority of home water damage actually occurs in the spring? Winter’s freeze-and-thaw cycles can shorten the life of gutters and drain spouts. If drainage is blocked, water from spring rains can pool up along your home’s foundation or roofline, leading to serious structural damage.

  • Clean gutters and downspouts. After removing winter debris from your gutters, check for any blockages by tapping the side of the spout or by blowing air down your drain spout with a leaf blower. Air should flow easily and the drain spout will make a hollow sound. Drainage should be diverted at least three feet from your home’s foundation.
  • Check for missing or cracked shingles. While on your roof, visually check the condition of your shingles for curling, warping, cracking or cupping. If you notice any damage or missing shingles, you’ll want to hire a contractor to make repairs. Not sure if there’s a problem with your roof? Check your attic for leaks, moisture and mold.

Safety Tip: Remember, cleaning gutters and repairing roofs can be dangerous and results in hundreds of serious personal injuries every year. If you’re not comfortable on a ladder, or simply not as limber as you once were, ask a neighbor for assistance or hire a contractor.

 HVAC Checklist

Gear up for the summer’s heat waves with an air conditioner tune-up. Routine maintenance ensures optimal airflow, which lowers heating and cooling costs. Minor problems are easier to fix in the spring rather than waiting until scorching August temps strain your AC unit, leading to expensive repairs or a full replacement.

  • Remove debris and vegetation. Ensure winter storm debris does not cause any airflow blockages, which can strain the unit and spike energy bills.
  • Change air filters. At a minimum, you should change your air filter every three to six months. A dirty filter slows down airflow, causing your system to work overtime to keep your home cool, which increases energy costs.
  • Schedule a tune-up. Many reputable HVAC service centers offer seasonal savings on spring tune-ups. A professional will check your unit for potential problems and replace any aging parts, which helps prevent early system failure.

Energy Savings Tip: A one-degree change in your thermostat setting reduces energy consumption by 4 percent. Your body won’t notice the temperature difference, but your wallet definitely will!

 Home Exterior Checklist

An attractive exterior does a lot more than simply increase your home’s curb appeal. Paint seals wood, protecting it from the elements. Simple paint touch-ups can extend the average life of your siding by two to three years.

  • Check for peeling paint or siding. Take a walk around your house and look for any siding damage. It’s much more affordable to repaint your siding or trim now rather than wait until water entry has rotted the wood! If you own a brick home, the brickwork should be resealed every five to eight years.
  • Reseal your deck. Check for loose boards that may need replacement or resealing. If it’s been a few years since your deck’s last spring cleaning, consider power washing and resealing your deck.

Safety Tip: If you rent your own power washer (daily rentals start at $35 to $50), ask for a quick walk-through on its use. Always wear protective eye gear and operate with caution; with several hundred pounds of water pressure, you don’t want to accidently spray yourself, a family member or a pet!

 

Choosing Your First Home: What to Look for When House Hunting

by Bozeman Broker Group


First time home Buyer? Things to look for and to consider.

Photo: © Andresr - Veer

It's important to remember that the first house you buy isn't likely to be the one you'll live in forever. Instead, you might consider looking for a starter home when you are tired of renting and unable to afford your dream house. Approaching the house-hunting process with this caveat in mind will allow you to forgive some of the property's shortcomings and put you in a good position to profit when you resell the home. Here are a few tips to consider:

Investigate the Neighborhood
While it might seem like a good idea to take advantage of the potential profitability of an up-and-coming neighborhood, you likely won't be living in your starter home long enough to see a major shift. Instead, look for your first home in an already established, safe neighborhood because it'll probably keep its desirable status, and this can be an advantage for you when you want to sell your house in the future. Many first-time buyers are also in the process of starting a family, which is another good reason to ensure that the neighborhood will be a comfortable and secure place to live. It's also a good idea to figure out how likely it is that you will have school-age children while you are living in this house. Accessibility to good schools really drives up home prices.
 
Maximize Resale Value
While you are in the process of buying your starter home, you should also be thinking ahead to reselling it. Put yourself in the shoes of other prospective buyers and figure out whether a property would meet most of the average buyer's criteria. Homes with fewer than two bedrooms or bathrooms can be difficult to market, for example, because they often exclude larger families. Even if you don't need two bathrooms at the moment, it might still be a good idea to look for a home that has them. Similarly, while you may not care about an open concept living space, trends show that most buyers want a home that feels spacious. Invest now in a property that will impress others, and you will have less trouble selling it in a few years.
 
Look for Potential
Your starter home might not be 100 percent perfect when you move in, so it's a good idea to look for a house that could be improved by a few cosmetic tweaks. You may be able to get a better deal on a house that needs work, and it will be relatively easy to increase its resale value. So if you aren't crazy about the countertops, consider buying the home anyway and install granite yourself. In addition to being able to customize the house to your tastes, you'll also likely see a decent return on your investment when you list the property for sale.

New Year’s Resolutions to Help You Purchase a Home

by Bozeman Broker Group

 

Let Our Team at Bozeman Broker Group Help You with You Resolutions to Buy the Perfect Home


Is the goal of purchasing a new home at the top of your 2016 New Year’s resolutions?

~ Planning is key to make your dream a reality ~  

Lisa Kittleman

New Year’s Resolutions to Help You Purchase a Home

1. Decide what you want – Build on the excitement of the new year with this fun step. Take detailed notes about location, size, type of community, whether you plan to expand your family while in this home, commute time, design and amenities. It is a good idea to rank and prioritize your list in case you must make decisions quickly. (Ex: Are you willing to trade less bedrooms for a larger kitchen? Longer commute for better schools?)

2. Before stepping foot in a house, put your financial “house” in order – Now it is time to become realistic about what you will be able to afford. A Mortage calculator offers a new home calculator for a rough estimate. Determine your budget and stick to it. Know your credit scores and save for a down payment, closing and loan fees. Over and above saving for the purchase of your home, you should build a healthy savings account. Joseph Gyourko, professor of real estate at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania says to remember this good rule of thumb. “On average, you’ll spend 2.5 percent to 3 percent of your home’s value annually on upkeep, repairs and maintenance. If you’re buying a $250,000 home, aim to save $520 to $625 per month,” Gyourko says.

3. Get pre-approved  for financing BEFORE you start to house hunt – “Pre-approval” means you have a pre-approval letter from a loan officer that confirms you have borrowing power and readily qualify for various mortgage programs. It’s important to know your credit score. “If possible, stop applying for new credit a year before you start house hunting, and keep the moratorium in place until after you close on your home,” John Ulzheimer, CreditSesame credit expert says. After being approved, don’t get caught up into buying items for your future home that could put your credit status in jeopardy because your letter is not a final loan commitment.

4. Buy a home that you both like and can afford now – Shop for the long term, as short-term ownership can be expensive. Real estate markets and family dynamics vary, so you want to be content in your home even if your original plan for re-sale down the road would not immediately cooperate. 

5. Hire a GREAT Team – The Internet allows buyers to do extensive legwork, but there is no substitute for experienced professionals. A real estate agent will know the market, save you substantial time, money and emotional heartache by advocating for you and guiding you to make the right offer.

Realtors can offer recommendations for the other services you’ll need. Realtors have established relationships with mortgage lenders, home inspectors and know who to call to assist with other steps in the buying process.

6. Inspect the home before closing – Take the time to “sniff out” any issues. Do you notice odd odors from mold or pets? Does the toilet flush properly? Open appliances to see if they are in working order on the inside. It is important to remember the status of a home may change overnight, so re-check everything as close to closing as possible. You don’t want the unexpected housewarming present of moving in to find that something leaked and caused damage AFTER your final inspection.

7. Protect yourself with insurance – The time to obtain insurance coverage and home warranties is at closing, so be sure to discuss your options with a reputable Realtor or insurance broker PRIOR to closing. Ask about limitations, costs, deductibles and other factors.

Statistics show that the key to keeping New Year’s resolutions is diligence and taking the smart path.

 


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

by Bozeman Broker Group

 

Thank you to all our clients, colleagues, friends, and family for a great 2015.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a fantastic 2016!

 


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